BY OBUTE JAMES
Ahead of the rerun election in some states on Saturday 23, March Presidency on Sunday (today) said President Muhammadu Buhari will not interfare with the supplimentary elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has fixed Saturday 23 March for rerun election in Kano, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Sokoto states.
INEC also cancelled supplementary election in Bauchi and declared that collatiom and announcement of result will be done on Tuesday 19 March.
In a statement on Sunday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assitant to Presodent on Media and Publicity, Buhari cautioned against “a lot of the hate spewing, incitement to violence and the polarizing statements by so-called political leaders as the supplementary elections draw closer.
“Past Presidents of Nigeria were known to interfere in inconclusive elections, and that is why party members appear to be upset that the same thing is not happening now, but President Buhari is a different kind of leader.
“He swore to defend the constitution and will not veer off from that. The constitution of Nigeria gives the President no such powers.
Shehu therefore, maintained It was unfair and ridiculous to criticise President Buhari for not going against the constitution.
“Party members in states where there will be supplementary elections then need to be reminded that they need to work hard to earn their people’s votes, rather than expect President Buhari to manipulate INEC in their favour.
“Interestingly, while members of the ruling APC party were criticising the President for not interfering on their behalf, members of the opposition were condemning the President based on their assumptions that he would definitely interfere, as many in the opposition did while in power,’’ he added.
The presidential aide assured that under President Buhari, INEC had been and would be completely independent throughout the elections, free from any interference.
He added that, “President Buhari is a man of conviction, and the manipulation of election results goes against everything he stands for, INEC is completely in charge”